JIS News

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  • Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has welcomed the establishment of a state-of- the-art isolation room at the Paediatric Oncology Department, University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
  • Speaking at the official handover Friday (September 9), Dr. Tufton said the facility will strengthen the capacity of the hospital to provide specialised care to children diagnosed with cancer.
  • These cancers include leukaemia, which accounts for approximately a third of the cases in Jamaica.

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has welcomed the establishment of a state-of- the-art isolation room at the Paediatric Oncology Department, University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

The project, dubbed ‘Sean’s Gift’, was undertaken by the Rotary Club of Kingston at a cost of $8 million.

It involved the conversion of existing space into a much-needed unit to allow for safer induction (initial chemotherapy) for children with cancer. It is the club’s major project for 2015/16.

Speaking at the official handover Friday (September 9), Dr. Tufton said the facility will strengthen the capacity of the hospital to provide specialised care to children diagnosed with cancer.

He noted that with access to quality care, more than 80 per cent of children with cancer can survive and go on to live healthy lives.

Dr. Tufton said that, on average, between 150,000 and 200,000 children below the age of 12 die from the disease each year.

“Childhood cancers that have a detrimental impact affect children ages three to five, who oftentimes are born with those ailments,” he pointed out.

These cancers include leukaemia, which accounts for approximately a third of the cases in Jamaica; cancer of the central nervous system such as the brain or spine; and cancer of the kidney.

Dr. Tufton, in hailing the support from the Rotary Club of Kingston, noted that public/private partnerships and voluntarism are critical to improving the country’s healthcare system.

He informed that the Government is developing a national health insurance scheme to provide adequate funding for the public healthcare system.

The Rotary Club of Kingston selected Child Health and Disease Prevention as the main area of focus for the club’s 2015/16 major project.

‘Sean’s Gift’ was conceptualised under the leadership and direction of Immediate Past President Robert Kinlocke. It was named in honour of his son, who passed away several years ago.